Tag Archives: Teach for America
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Why are TFA and “reformers” perhaps the least interested in reform?

Why are TFA and, more generally, “reformers” perhaps the least interested in reform? Why do they get defensive when faced with critiques based on empiricism (data and research) and efficacy (is their reform working)? See for example Jonathan Alter get defensive when I discuss charter school data and research on the Melissa Harris-Perry show. He […]

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To Whom does Teach For America Give Power and Influence?

A new peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Education Policy reveals the relationships between Teach For America (TFA) and federal charter school “reform” to interrogate how policy decisions are shaped by networks of elite individuals, organizations, and private corporations. Mapping the Terrain: Teach For America, Charter School Reform, and Corporate Sponsorship provides evidence that TFA […]

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Democratic National Convention: Day 2

It’s Sommer Time: TFA alum Critiques Co-CEO’s “Slick Willie” Interview

I recently caught a rebroadcast of PBS’ American Experience: Clinton, and was reminded that today’s future “first man” was once dubbed “Slick Willie” by the press due to his mastery of duplicitousness in dancing around controversies. However, with Bill Clinton’s approval rating now upwards of 69 percent, he may have finally shaken off that unpleasant moniker. But with […]

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American Radioworks® Conversation: Does Teach for America Need Reforming?

How about radio media today instead of print? Today American Radioworks® (ARW) released a conversation (“Does Teach for America Need Reforming?”) that I had with Stephen Smith. What is ARW?: ARW is the national documentary unit of American Public Media. ARW is public radio’s largest documentary production unit; it creates documentaries, series projects, and investigative reports for the public radio […]

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On Assignment for DianeRavitch.Net: Rewriting Thomas Harkin’s Teach For America Constituent Letter

I am on assignment today. Diane Ravitch asked me to rewrite Tom Harkin’s email to a constituent that extols the virtues of TFA. I will begin with the letter that was forwarded to me that was apparently written by Harkin’s office and then follow the official letter with my rewrite. From: Senator@harkin.senate.gov Date: January 7, […]

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Teach For America is Barking Up the Wrong Tree

It doesn’t take a Philadelphia lawyer to tell that the man who serves the master one day, and the enemy six, has just six chances out of seven to go to the devil. You are barking up the wrong tree, Johnson. — James Hall, Legends of the West. The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) released Teach For America: A Return to […]

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Debate Rages: Response to TFA’s Supposition that New Brief is a “Retreat from Evidence”

The debate rages. Yesterday, the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) released Teach For America: A Return to the Evidence. It is the sequel to the 2010 Teach For America: A Review of the Evidence. TFA has responded. Raegen Miller, TFA’s VP of Research Partnerships, has asked us to keep the dialogue going, so I will respond to his comments (See their […]

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Tell-All from Oakland TFA Teacher: “I didn’t do my research” “Left by Winter Break”

Here is another tell-all that does not appear in TFA’s glossy brochures or promotion materials. I realize that proponents of TFA will likely argue that these stories from TFA corp members are no different than any other poorly trained first year teacher. But that is the exactly the point isn’t it? Why is TFA perpetuating […]

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Tell-All From A TFA and KIPP Teacher: Unprepared, Isolation, Shame, and Burnout

A few years ago a UT-Austin undergraduate student sat in my office and told me that she was joining Teach For America and was going to teach in KIPP school. The essence of TFA’s pitch to her? We recruit a diverse group of leaders with a record of achievement who work to expand educational opportunity, starting […]

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Get Up, Stand Up: Boycott FedEx for their Hypocrisy and Support of TFA

Today a reader gave me the heads up that FedEx wants to make a $300,000 commitment to Teach For America (TFA). (See http://blog.van.fedex.com/countlesspossibilities) They will donate a dollar of every One Rate transaction (Their attempt to compete with the US postal service Priority Mail). I have written extensively about TFA’s temporary agency approach for poor kids. See […]

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Sneak Preview: How Citizens Can Hold Teach For America Accountable

Following the comprehensive 2010 National Education Policy Center (NEPC) TFA brief (See Teach For America: A review of the evidence (The research that TFA loves to hate…), we received many requests for input from parents and educators across the nation regarding the impact of TFA in their community. Many of the requests came from communities in […]

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A Horror Comedy: Teach For America Rises to Power

Gremlins was a “horror comedy” movie that came out in the early 1980s. Wikipedia: The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a Mogwai as a pet, which then spawns other creatures who transform into small, destructive, evil monsters. What does it take for the Gremlins to spawn and replicate […]

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The Republicans didn’t get what they wanted from Shutdown, but TFA did

Three weeks and $26 billion later, the Republicans didn’t get what they wanted, but Teach For America did. A little teaser from the upcoming 2013 NEPC TFA brief: TFA also wields significant political influence. Numerous TFA alumni have left the classroom after their two-year commitment and are positioned in influential roles impacting educational policy— from […]

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“Does Not Compute”: Teach For America Mathematica Study is Deceptive?

I’ll admit it. I am a sci-fi junkie. I am that lone person in the theater at a midnight showing on the release night of a new sci-fi film. Sometimes I am one of only 3 or 4 people in the theater. I should blame this probably on my parents who raised me on Star […]

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Huggy, Snuggly, Cuddly: Teach For America and Mathematica

Wanna Cuddle? A new study paid for by the U.S. Department of Education enlisted the services of Mathematica, Inc., a research organization that has studied Teach For America and its subsidiaries, consistently for over a decade.[1] The reports have one thing in common: Teach For America and  the growing network of charter schools affiliated with TFA , end up with […]

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Teach For America: Feel Good Spin vs. Dose of Reality From A Corps Member

I often receive notes and email from Teach For America teachers who have regret about their decision to join the corps (Please encourage teachers to send them to me. I will publish them here on Cloaking Inequity to give them voice). Should you believe the positive spin from your local TFA lobbyist, Mathematica, TFA recruiters, […]

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New Mathematica TFA Study is Irrational Exuberance

Teach For America (TFA) has sought to direct attention to a new study recently released by Mathematica.  A blogger at the Washington Post even argued that my prior critiques of TFA were “not true anymore.” (See all of my prior posts on TFA here.) Is that the case? Next week I will start an entire […]

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Who Dat Say?: New Orleans Ed Reform Unmasked

Who is really behind NOLA education reform? Let’s unmask them. Last year, the charter school incubator New Schools for New Orleans published a Guide for Cities that touted New Orleans school reform as a national model. In fact, a barrage of reports has been issued since 2005 that make the same claim. The Guide for Cities […]

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